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senate Bill S. 2430

Should Survivors of Fallen Servicemembers Get Death Benefits Immediately During a Gov’t Shutdown?

Argument in favor

This commonsense, bipartisan bill would ensure that the survivors of fallen servicemembers can immediately access the death benefits they’re entitled to even if the government is shut down because Congress didn’t have its act together.

burrkitty's Opinion
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05/28/2018
Sure, but it would be better to get out if the endless wars that kill our people first. Can we properly fund and staff the VA and get affordable housing for our veterans while they are alive? Lately, the vet bills all deal with after death. How about taking care of the living first?
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jayar's Opinion
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05/28/2018
Yes and set all politician's salaries to zero for the remainder of the fiscal year.
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Matthew's Opinion
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05/28/2018
The spouses of fallen sailors and soldiers shouldn’t have to worry if they’re going to be able to take care of necessities. We would all love for congress to always agree on a budget every time but this isn’t a perfect world. Let make sure these spouses don’t have to suffer more than they need to
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Argument opposed

Congress should focus on ensuring that survivors of fallen servicemembers get timely access to death benefits by not allowing government shutdowns to occur in the first place even if they may occasionally fall short of that goal and delay benefits.

Poli.Sci's Opinion
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05/28/2018
I understand the position which spouses are set in when their spouse is killed on duty. I respect all service men and women and think they should be treated far better by our government. I do not agree with this bill because it sets a precedent that government is getting used to being shut down, instead of coming together to form a budget. The idea of a budget should not be page turning and grueling, instead it needs to be dealt with efficiently and passing bills to move around the original problem solves nothing.
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Jason's Opinion
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05/28/2018
The solution is to not have government shutdowns. Please stop using military widows and widowers as political props to hide your inability to fulfill the basic responsibilities of governance.
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Ronald's Opinion
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05/28/2018
" Government Shutdown" should hurt. Pass a budget. Do it early, to allow for problems. Do Your Job. Do not pass laws to allow you to sit idle. Pass no feel good laws. Just do the work needed.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedFebruary 14th, 2018

What is Senate Bill S. 2430?

This bill — known as the Families of Fallen Servicemembers First Act — would provide a permanent appropriation for the payment of death gratuities and related benefits to survivors of deceased servicemembers during a period where appropriations have lapsed and the government is shut down. Funds would be provided at the rate and under the conditions described in the most recently enacted defense appropriations bill.

Benefits covered by this bill include:

  • Death gratuities for survivors of deceased military servicemembers;

  • Funeral and burial expenses;

  • Authorized funeral travel, including to dignified transfer ceremonies;

  • A temporary continuation of a basic allowance for housing for dependents.

Under current law, military death benefits aren’t paid immediately if a servicemember dies during a government shutdown, and survivors have to wait for funding to be restored to receive the benefit.

Impact

Survivors of fallen servicemembers; the DOD; and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2430

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced this bill to ensure that the survivors of fallen servicemembers can immediately access death benefits during a government shutdown:

“We have a duty as Americans to support those who serve and their families. In the words of President Lincoln, we must meet our sacred commitment to those ‘who have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan.’ I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill into law and ensure that these benefits are never subject to Congressional inaction.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) added:

“When our servicemembers make the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms, we must make certain no grieving family is subjected to delayed benefits due to Congressional stalemate. No Congressional disagreements should prevent our heroes’ families from quickly receiving the benefits they are owed. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill and see it signed into law.”

This legislation has the support of 17 bipartisan cosponsors, including 10 Democrats and 7 Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: tome213 / iStock)

AKA

Families of Fallen Servicemembers First Act

Official Title

A bill to provide a permanent appropriation of funds for the payment of death gratuities and related benefits for survivors of deceased members of the uniformed services in event of any period of lapsed appropriations.

    Sure, but it would be better to get out if the endless wars that kill our people first. Can we properly fund and staff the VA and get affordable housing for our veterans while they are alive? Lately, the vet bills all deal with after death. How about taking care of the living first?
    Like (101)
    Follow
    Share
    I understand the position which spouses are set in when their spouse is killed on duty. I respect all service men and women and think they should be treated far better by our government. I do not agree with this bill because it sets a precedent that government is getting used to being shut down, instead of coming together to form a budget. The idea of a budget should not be page turning and grueling, instead it needs to be dealt with efficiently and passing bills to move around the original problem solves nothing.
    Like (91)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes and set all politician's salaries to zero for the remainder of the fiscal year.
    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
    The solution is to not have government shutdowns. Please stop using military widows and widowers as political props to hide your inability to fulfill the basic responsibilities of governance.
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    Paid for from the Congress salaries
    Like (44)
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    The spouses of fallen sailors and soldiers shouldn’t have to worry if they’re going to be able to take care of necessities. We would all love for congress to always agree on a budget every time but this isn’t a perfect world. Let make sure these spouses don’t have to suffer more than they need to
    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
    " Government Shutdown" should hurt. Pass a budget. Do it early, to allow for problems. Do Your Job. Do not pass laws to allow you to sit idle. Pass no feel good laws. Just do the work needed.
    Like (34)
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    Do your job, don't shut down. Furthermore if the government shuts down no members of Congress should be paid.
    Like (22)
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    As a Gold Star spouse the provisions provided benefited me greatly. Although, I feel it will never be enough, it helped me pick my life back up and take care of my household temporarily. Everyone knows that being in the military you volunteer to serve and protect your country so no amount will really suffice but if the death benefit is given to start over with then I’m for it. Most times military families are a one income earning family especially if you have many children. The case today is different, however if we don’t assist military families in need I feel we fail as a country. It’s not just the soldier that has sacrificed their lives, it’s the spouses and children as well. The military lifestyle is not for the faint. We all volunteer and give our lives for our country no one will truly understand and appreciate the military lifestyle unless you’ve lived it but I don’t expect people to understand but be thankful and respectful because I feel in one shape or another we’ve earned it.
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    Another case of Congress saying it, and by extension we the people, don’t have to live in fiscal reality. Want to avoid a shutdown? Pass a budget, then obey that law.
    Like (7)
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    Let’s not have any more government shutdowns and this wouldn’t be an issue.
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    1. Stop calling every bill "common sense". It doesn't add anything of value to the description, just Countable's bias. 2. Shut the government down for good.
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    Absolutely - they should receive immediate services. Also, there is no need for a bill to accomplish this. These personal and their functions need only be designated as essential and they won’t be interrupted by a government shutdown - sorta like soldiers in combat zones. Well don’t interrupt their support.
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    To serve those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and their families.
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    Its the absolute least we can do for the family of someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves for our freedom
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    I feel gratitude and sympathy for the sacrifices made by these families. However, I do not want Congress to pass laws to prepare for them not doing their jobs. The bill I want to see passed regarding government shutdowns is this: All members of Congress during a government shutdown become ineligible to run again for any office in the federal government. Maybe that will give them the incentive they need to work together.
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    Yes the spouses and dependents should be taken care of, why is this even a question. They shouldn’t be held hostage, in many cases spouses aren’t in the military by definition but by marriage and sacrifice just as much as the one in uniform. They are left at home to pay the bills, raise the kids and pray that they never receive the dreaded phone call or casualty officer at their door. Take care of our families who suffer just as much as our service members in uniform. God bless the United States and our military and military families. MAGA
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    These families have lost a hero who gave his/her life defending our country. Treat them with the dignity they deserve.
    Like (3)
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    But first, hold all representatives paychecks. No healthcare or pay for our congress and senate if there is a government shutdown. Yes, shutdowns should hurt, but for the people who cause it, not the constituents who beg for bipartisanship and compromise.
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    Just because our government is dysfunctional doesn’t mean that the families of those who gave their lives to protect our country should suffer even more. Without the, there would be no United States.
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